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naperville divorce lawyerThere is no denying that divorce will have a financial impact on most couples. Even if the divorce is a “friendly” one without disagreements about how the marital estate should be divided, each spouse will still have to adjust to going from a two-income household to a one-income home. Keeping that in mind, there are certain steps you can take to help alleviate some of that financial pressure and ensure you are prepared once the divorce process is complete.

How Much Money Do You and Your Spouse Have?

While this may seem like an obvious question, many spouses do not know the answer to that question, especially if the other spouse is the one who handled all the family finances. Make sure you know exactly how much you have in checking and saving accounts, retirement accounts, and any other financial accounts you have. It is also important to know how much marital debt you have, so find out the balance for any mortgages and equity loans, vehicle loans, credit card bills, etc.

If you are planning to divorce, this is also a good time to get your own checking and saving accounts and apply for at least one major credit card in your own name to begin building a separate credit history.

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dupage county parenting time lawyerSummer is right around the corner and many people are planning their vacations. After a year spent in pandemic lockdowns and away from loved ones, widespread vaccinations and the lifting of COVID-19 regulations in many states means that many families are looking forward to visiting grandparents and traveling to destinations to just have fun again.  While children often look forward to these trips, divorced parents sometimes suffer angst over them. The thought of their ex-spouse taking their child to another state – or even another country – can cause a great deal of anxiety, especially if the relationship between the parents is a contentious one.

In most parenting time situations, how one parent chooses to spend their parenting time with their child does not need to be approved by the other parent. However, if a parent wants to take the child out of state or out of the country, the parent is required to let the co-parent know of the plans and provide details about the trip.

In cases where the parent is taking the child out of the country for vacation, the child will need a passport and may also need certain immunizations. In order to obtain a passport for a minor, both parents are required to show parental consent. This means that either the parents need to go together in person to apply for the child’s passport or the other parent must give permission by completing the Statement of Consent form. The form must be signed in the presence of a notary and include a copy of the parent’s ID.

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naperville divorce lawyerWhen a couple has decided to divorce, part of that process involves dividing their assets and debts in an equitable manner. As you go through and list the assets you and your spouse have, one asset that you may overlook are any retirement accounts either of you may have. Illinois recognizes retirement funds accumulated during the marriage as marital assets, so they become part of the marital estate and are divisible in the divorce.

Dividing Retirement Accounts

The division of retirement accounts can be complex because of the federal and state laws and regulations that may apply. There is also the issue of ownership of the funds that are in the account. Any funds that were accumulated in a retirement account prior to the couples marriage is considered separate property and does not become part of the divorce settlement. It is only the funds that accumulated while the couple were married that are distributable. This is why it is important to have a skilled Naperville divorce attorney representing you, to ensure your best interests are protected.

Ideally, the spouses will agree to offset assets and the retirement account will maintain intact. For example, one spouse may agree to take sole ownership of a vacation property the couple owns that has the same value of the other spouse’s retirement account. If both spouses have retirement accounts, then another option is that they agree that they will each keep their own accounts separate from the marital estate and any divorce settlement.

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